Seemingly never happy with its current level of programming, WWE is reportedly considering the addition of a second yearly WrestleMania event by 2020. Despite professional wrestling still being regarded as a lesser form of entertainment by many, there's no denying that the business - and especially its leader WWE - continues to grow at a steady clip. Back in the 1980s, Hulk Hogan's Hulkamania run launched the then-WWF to new heights of popularity and prosperity. Then in the 1990s, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin led the Attitude Era to even greater heights. Nowadays, WWE is such a big deal that they signed a $1 billion TV deal with FOX for broadcast rights to SmackDown Live.
A big factor in WWE's growth has been the WWE Network, an entire streaming television destination for all of WWE's programs. New episodes are Raw and SmackDown are archived on the network 30 days after they air on cable, and fans can find the entire decades-long archive of both shows in the on-demand section, as well as every pay-per-view to ever be put on by WWE and its now-defunct former rivals WCW and ECW. To help make the Network more attractive to fans, WWE also offers all its monthly pay-per-view events at no additional cost, plus an assortment of special Network-only live events, all for a quite reasonable monthly fee of $9.99.
Of course, the crown jewel among WWE's big events will always be WrestleMania, which staged its 34th edition earlier this year in New Orleans. WrestleMania has been going strong since 1985, and access to it never fails to draw in new subscribers each spring. Now though, sports website Barnburner is reporting that WWE isn't content with only one WrestleMania event per year, and plans to add another annual WrestleMania to its schedule by 2020. That's right wrestling fans, two WrestleManias per year.
Now obviously, until WWE makes an official comment on that report, it's to be taken with more than a grain of salt. Yet, the move wouldn't be unprecedented. Just this year in fact, WWE added a second Royal Rumble event, in addition to the usual show in January. Dubbed the Greatest Royal Rumble, this supercard was held in Saudi Arabia, and emanated from a giant stadium. WWE's idea with holding a second WrestleMania is reportedly to do something similar to that, broadcasting the event from a large international market. If implemented, WWE would reportedly keep the standard WrestleMania event in April, while putting the other one on in October.
Interestingly, adding a second yearly WrestleMania could enable WWE to finally satisfy its overseas fans, who constantly beg for WrestleMania to be held in their country. Unfortunately, WrestleMania hasn't taken place outside the U.S. since The Rock battled Hulk Hogan back in 2002, and even then it's never traveled further than Canada. Time zone differences make the idea of broadcasting WrestleMania live on the Network from somewhere other than North America a bit of a non-starter for WWE, as it would require stateside fans to tune in at a time far from the standard 8pm EST. However, WWE didn't have a problem showing the Greatest Royal Rumble in the middle of the afternoon. Perhaps London will finally get that WrestleMania they've been dreaming of.